Coronavirus costs GGD half a billion extra


The agency mapped the financial consequences of the corona crisis up to the end of 2020. The largest share of the additional costs of 465 million euros appears to be attributable to the source and contact investigation (275 million euros) and to a slightly lesser extent for sampling (96 million euros). For these tasks, GGDs incur more costs than normal. In addition, their regular duties are changing: services are being shut down and revenues are being left out of part of their usual duties. This sometimes also means less expenditure, but on balance this nevertheless has a negative financial effect (42 million euros). For example, the GGDs miss out on a lot of income for traveler vaccinations.

Big differences

The research provides general insights and no differences between individual GGDs, the researchers emphasize. According to them, it is difficult to compare GGDs because they differ widely. For example, some GGDs have an ambulance facility, which is a major cost item. In addition, according to the researchers, ‘a single GGD with an ambulance facility has had fines in recent months because the employees did not arrive at the addresses within the arrival time due to the longer changing time to protective suits.’

Southern regions

Furthermore, the southern regions have (had) to deal with the coronavirus on a larger scale than the northern regions. In the first phase of the corona crisis, provinces such as Noord-Brabant and Limburg were hit relatively hard. However, according to the researchers, it is still uncertain what regional differences will look like in the coming phases of the outbreak, “and that is the phase in which the greatest financial effects will occur.”

Municipal contribution

Most GGDs have arranged most of their costs and capacity through the municipal resident contribution. Municipalities can also make use of additional financing options from central government. Previous research by AEF (2017) showed that the municipal contribution represents the largest income stream at national level with an average of 46 percent of total income. A further 12 percent comes from (government) subsidies. And an average of 31 percent comes from municipal contract tasks and effort-oriented tasks, which have a more variable character. ‘The importance of the municipal contribution therefore varies greatly: a small number of GGDs receive a quarter of the income from the municipal contribution, and a small number more than three-quarters’, the AEF researchers concluded.


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